When We Said We Were In Favor Of Open Source Voting, This Isn't What We Meant

from the a-bit-more-openness-please dept

We’ve often wondered why various governments haven’t mandated open source e-voting systems. After all, if a free and democratic election is supposed involve true transparency into the voting process, it’s hard to see how proprietary software can be allowed. However, the big e-voting companies have been staunch supporters of keeping their solutions proprietary. Except… it may turn out that Premier Election Solutions (which was better known as Diebold until it changed its name to get away from the mocking laughter) is actually using some open source software… and not abiding by the license. Artifex Software is suing Premier for apparently using its GPL’d software and not adhering to the GPL terms. Of course, we should note that Diebold (er… Premier) has suggested in the past that it might eventually open source its own product, so maybe a little legal nudge will push it over the edge.

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Companies: artifex, diebold, premier voting

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Comments on “When We Said We Were In Favor Of Open Source Voting, This Isn't What We Meant”

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Steve (profile) says:

The Election Assistance Commission 2009 Voluntary Voting System Guidelines

The Election Assistance Commission 2009 Voluntary Voting System Guidelines recommends that new voting devices be “software independent” and also use multiple processes that can tabulate the vote independently and later on be reconciled to affirm accuracy. Software independent means that ANY failure of the software will not change the results. This guideline applies to open and proprietary software.

We at PenVote.com have inverted the voting process by voting with a digital pen on paper and then verifying on screen the voter’s intent. Only after the voter confirms that their marks on the paper ballet match the on screen PDF of the ballot AND how those marks are tabulated does the voter press the cast ballot button. Three technologies with 3 separate chains of custodies. With over 17 months of testing completed we found that it is accurate and user friendly.

Unfortunately for the US it appears that the first major use of this voting solution will be in Europe and Latin America.

Chris Wilson (user link) says:

PenVote technology

Anyone who thinks that the election of a few days ago could be hand counted with any accuracy is off their rocker. Over 133,000,000 people voted. If you believe in hand counted paper ballots, get this through you thick skulls–it isn’t going to happen. Therefore, you should expect paper ballots that can be machine counted in multiple ways, and even hand counted for audits. But the rest of you who think otherwise are out to lunch. That’s why PenVote is on to something great.

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